New director appointed to lead NHMRC National Institute of Dementia Research

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Media Release

17 February 2017

The NHMRC National Institute of Dementia Research and Alzheimer’s Australia are delighted to announce the appointment of Ms Janice Besch as the new Director of the NNIDR.

Ms Besch joins the NNIDR from the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) at the University of Western Sydney where she served as the Managing Director and was responsible for ensuring the viability of all programs, bench to bedside, and the translation of NICM programs from evidence into clinical practice and health policies. 

Both the NNIDR Board and the NNIDR Expert Advisory Panel support Ms Besch’s appointment. 

Alzheimer’s Australia National President and NNIDR Board Chair Professor Graeme Samuel AC welcomed Ms Besch to the role and said both groups were looking forward to working with her in leading the institute.

“She has an exemplary background in research management and her past work has seen her play a key role in growing research grant income and support,” Professor Samuel said.

“She is the ideal fit given her experience across not-for-profit, tertiary and government sectors which is closely aligned with the environment in which the NNIDR operates.”

Ms Besch said that she was looking forward to the challenge and understands the importance of the work ahead of her.

“With over 413,106 Australians living with dementia and the enormous cost to society, it is critical that our research efforts are concentrated on the immediate improvement of diagnosis, care and treatment of people living with dementia as well as prevention,” Ms Besch said.

“The NNIDR has made significant progress towards growing the field of dementia research in Australia and I plan to further pursue the institute’s objectives in synthesising current research, outcomes focussed research translation and supporting innovative research efforts.” 

Ms Besch will also support the continued engagement of consumers in dementia research in partnership with Alzheimer’s Australia.

The NNIDR and Alzheimer’s Australia also wishes to thank interim Director Professor Peter Schofield for leading the NNIDR during the transition period. Professor Schofield will continue to assist the NNIDR through his role on the NNIDR Expert Advisory Panel.

Media enquiries:

Bianca Armytage
0407 019 430 / 02 6278 8924
[email protected]

Alzheimer’s Australia is the charity for people with dementia and their families and carers. As the peak body, it provides advocacy, support services, education and information. An estimated 413,000 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach more than 1.1 million in 40 years. 

National Dementia Helpline: 1800 100 500
An interpreter service is available
(The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative)
Dementia is a National Health Priority Area

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